A man has been caught on camera straying off the boardwalk at Yellowstone National Park to peer right into Spiteful Geyser, risking serious burns. Spiteful Geyser hasn't erupted since 1998, but according to the National Park Service (NPS), is "actively boiling" with an average temperature of 179.5°F (81.9°C).
The incident was caught on camera by nature lover and photographer Adrianna Brown. She shared it with Instagram account TouronsOfNationalParks, which calls out examples of bad behavior at sites of natural beauty around the world. One commenter noted this was a particularly good way to "end up ramen".
There have been several close calls with hot springs, geysers, and pools in recent weeks. Earlier this month a woman was recorded dabbling her fingers in Silex Spring, where the average water temperature is high enough to cause serious burns within three seconds. She jumped back after scalding herself.
A photo posted by on
According to the NPS, "hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature." Visitors are warned to stick to the network of established trails and boardwalks, which offer a good view of geothermal features while keeping people at a safe distance.
Hikers are also warned not to touch thermal features or runoff, and never to try bathing in the heated water. In 2016, a man was killed after accidentally falling into one of the hottest water features in the park while looking for a place to soak.
Twenty-three-year-old Colin Scott and his sister Sable wandered off the boardwalk to find a warm pool when he slipped and fell into the Norris Geyser Basin. He died soon after the accident, but attempts to recover his body were delayed by bad weather and by the following day, nothing remained except his wallet and a pair of flip-flops.
Last year, the Abyss Pool was closed after a park employee spotted a human foot inside a shoe floating in the water. After an investigation and DNA analysis, it was identified as belonging to a 70-year-old Los Angeles man named Il Hun Ro.
"All too often, visitors blatantly disregard the clearly posted cautionary signs, leaving the boardwalk trails, which park rangers and park geologists place at a safe distance from dangerous features," wrote Yellowstone Volcano Observatory in an article for the US Geological Survey.
"Even worse, with park visitation and social media usage steadily rising, some people lose awareness of their surroundings and come too close to geysers and hot springs solely for the sake of getting a photo."
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).